• Sports
  • Updated: June 25, 2021

Ibra, Buffon, Other Players Who Returned To Former Club After A Long Time

Ibra, Buffon, Other Players Who Returned To Former Club Afte

Zlatan Ibrahimovic | Source: Skysports

Football has always been a back and forth game literally but it is even more so when players return to their former club after several years of stardom in other clubs or desire to play in familiar grounds.

It is not a new thing for players to return to former clubs but it catches the attention of football fans around the world when the return marks the start of something new.

Here are few notable returns since 2020 to date...

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden, AC Milan)

The Swedish International is the first on our list for his feat at 39. He completed a move from LA Galaxy to AC Milan with possible decline.

He left LA Galaxy on a high note scoring 52 goals in 56 appearances -- but European football is a different ball game, coupled with his age.

Zlatan has differed the odds scoring at will which earned him contract renewal at the San Siro club, he was also recalled back into the Sweden national team but injury has deterred him from participating.

Compared to his first stint at AC Milan, he scored 14 goals in 29 matches initially on loan then, 28 goals in 32 games but now with just barely a year at the club, at 39 years of age, he has scored 25 goals in 37 games.

Ibrahimovic has also guided Milan back to the Champions League football after 8 years of absence as they finished 2nd on the Serie A table for the 2020-21 season.

Gianluigi Buffon (Italy, Parma)

Buffon is the latest in a long list of players to return to their former club as he has made this list twice.

His first appearance will be when he joined Paris Saint Germain from Juventus only to return after a year then now he leaves the Turin club to join his former club in Italy, Parma.

The Italian goalie is not just proved one of the best goalkeepers by his longevity but more so by his accomplishments in football.

The World club winner now 43, was displaced by Polish goalkeeper, Wojciech Szczęsny and could not retake his place after returning to Juventus.

He announced that he will be leaving Juventus but it is not yet the end of the road for him in football.

Douglas Costa (Brazil, Gremio)

The Brazilian winger got his stardom at Bayern Munich with his quick feet and shooting ability from the left flank, tipped to replace aged Franck Ribery but series of injuries retarded his growth.

After a while, he was sold out to Juventus to see if a change of football can see him rediscover his potentials but it was more of the same, in over 73 appearances for Juventus he managed just 6 goals.

He was not much of a scorer but could break down defences with pace and crosses down the flank.

Costa 30, now rejoins Gremio on a loan from Juventus to see if he can kick start his career though already at the twilight.

Ivan Rakitic (Croatia, Sevilla)

He left Sevilla in the 2014-15 season to join Barcelona after clinching the Europa League and went on to win all possible trophies with the Messi-Suarez-Neymar trident.

At 33, Rakitic's heart was still with Sevilla as he was seen jumping into a pool in celebration despite Barcelona suffering a humiliating 8-2 at the hands of 2019-20 Champions League winner, Bayern Munich because Sevilla won the Europa League again that year.

Though he was deemed unfit to Barcelona's squad, it added to his hastened transfer away from the club, to his pleasure, Rakitic returned to Sevilla after over 5 years away from Seville.

Ashley Young (England, Aston Villa)

Young is the last player on the list for now though we could see more returns before the end of the transfer window -- of all, he is least expected.

He finished with Inter Milan as champions of Serie A dethroning Juventus and putting a halt to their monopoly of the Italian league.

After days, due to disagreement between Antonio Conte and the hierarchy at the club, Conte resigned, weeks later Young returned to England to his boyhood club, Aston Villa.

Ashley 35, has been able to rejuvenate his career since joining Inter Milan though not a regular at Milan, He is always ready to play when called upon with a match-defining performance.

Young became only the third Englishman to be on a winning side in Italy, the first being Jimmy Greaves in 1962 and Gerry Hitchens in 1963, also for the Nerazzurri.

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Oladimeji Balogun
Oladimeji Balogun

Oladimeji Balogun is a graduate of the University of Ilorin where he studied Microbiology, he is a w...

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